Marian Shved, the Ukrainian winger who has hardly featured since signing for Celtic last January, has been tipped to “explode” onto the Scottish football scene in the second half of the season after blowing his manager Neil Lennon away in training last week.
Shved scored a spectacular last-minute goal for the Glasgow club on his first team debut in the Champions League qualifier against Nomme Kalju in Estonia back in July.
But since then the 22-year-old has only played once for the Parkhead club as a second-half substitute in a Ladbrokes Premiership match against Ross County in Dingwall in October.
Lennon, though, admitted he had been greatly impressed with the former Karpaty Lviv player during the treble treble winners’ winter training camp in Dubai.
It would be timely if Shved, of whom so much has been expected by Celtic supporters since his Kalju strike, finally comes to the fore as Ryan Christie and Mikey Johnston are out injured and Scott Sinclair has departed for Preston North End.
“He’s doing good,” said Lennon as he looked back on the trip to the Middle East. “He’s training well. He’s looking lively and has been a wee bit of a bonus this week.
“It’s an opportunity to just explode onto it. He’s looked very healthy and I’ve been pleased with him. It’s not easy for guys to adapt sometimes, especially if family is not there as well.
“He’s a bit of a slow burner, but he’s still young and I’ve really liked what I have seen of him. He’s been good.”
Shved has his work cut out replacing James Forrest, who has scored 14 goals in the 2019/20 campaign, in Lennon’s team given his club’s mates rich vein of form.
The Northern Irishman, whose team take on Partick Thistle in the fourth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup on, admitted he may try to sign another right-sided forward during the January transfer window. “We’ll have to look at maybe bringing someone in as well,” he said.